Recently I spent a few days in the Peak District. The weather was lovely and Mr PP and I had a grand tour of the general area. Our first night was spent in a country house hotel just outside Ashbourne, The Callow Hall Hotel which was very pleasant. Ashbourne itself is quaint and when we visited was full of bunting. A walk around the town revealed some interesting items of note and all in all we would definitely go back and spend a bit longer in the area, perhaps next time trying the Tissington Trail cycle route.
Beautiful half landing window at the Callow Hall Hotel
A little friend begs to be adopted resting in your room
Charming and intimate private side garden at the Callow Hall Hotel (you can get married in the gazebo)
Front of Callow Hall Hotel
Even Ashbourne has its own “Banksy”
Bunting festoons Ashbourne
A Craftivist making poignant silent protest (www.craftivist-collective.com)
Our stop off in Bakewell coincided with the weekly market and also a livestock market so the town was full to bursting point by the time we arrived at 10.00 am! Full of Olde Worlde charm, Bakewell is also the venue for a very 21st century craze – the Love Lock Bridge. Several of the footbridges crossing the river in the town have hundreds of padlocks attached following the craze started in Paris on the Pont des Artes which had thousands of “love locks” attached to it and which were recently removed by the Paris authorities as they were making the bridge unsafe.
Love locks on the footbridge in Bakewell
After Bakewell we travelled on the Chatsworth House, home to the Dukes of Devonshire. Over the previous weekend Chatsworth had hosted its annual show and tens of thousands of people had filled the grounds. Thankfully it was much quieter when we visited. We took a trip round the house which is very impressive and really should not be missed if you are in the area. What impressed me most is the championing of contemporary art by the Devonshires, and there are many such artworks displayed alongside historical works in the main rooms of the house. On the day we visited there was also an exhibition exploring ideas about seating throughout the house and visitors were encouraged to sit on the artworks and to Tweet/Facebook/Instagram pictures and comments.
A reading seat at Chatsworth
A second take on a reading seat
A canvas seat….
Flocked moulded plastic chairs
Rocking horse inspired childs seat at the banqueting table
The banqueting table with printed table-cloth of everyone who should be invited to a Chatsworth Dinner Party
Interesting stool and floor design
Photography (no flash) is also allowed freely and for the most part the room stewards were friendly and knowledgeable.
Interesting little dog panel by Jemma Phipps (2009) The Duchess of Devonshires Gun Dogs, set in the panelling in the Oak Room
Carving in the Oak Room previously thought to be by Grinling Gibbons, but now known to be by a local craftsman
Incredible ceiling painting dominates the Painted Hall
I did have one “run in” with a room steward who stomped up to me and demanded that I wore my handbag across the front of my body or carried it in one hand. I should add that on this day I was using a very small handbag in the style of a backpack. It’s maximum dimensions are 13cms deep at its deepest part, by 25cms wide and 30 cms tall. It is a triangle shape and far smaller than the majority of luggage being toted round by other visitors. This lady was quite rude and aggressive, and as I was already over halfway round the house and no-one else had challenged me I was a bit surprised. Mr PP suggested that maybe she felt I had spent far too long in “her room”. Still, I complied, not that it made the slightest bit of difference, but hey.
Snarly room steward at Chatsworth House
The other irritating thing was a mother and daughter combo from Japan who trailed around the house using it as a backdrop for their own personal photo shoot. They made no attempt to look at the rooms, pausing only to stand in ridiculous poses in front of different items of furniture… eating an apple in front of a green picture, pretending to play a grand piano, looking shocked or surprised on the stairs, you know the kind of thing. Mainly they just got in everyone’s way, but Mrs Snarly Room Steward didn’t speak to them.
Annoying mother and daughter photo shoot combo off to the next site of interest!
On exiting we duly browsed in the shop where there is on sale a resin bust of Mr Darcy on sale, moulded in the likeness of Matthew MacFayden beside which stands a notice that tells the visitor that kissing the statue is not allowed! (No, I didn’t buy one either).
The gardens are lovely with fabulous views and a sculpture trail was also in situ.
Wildflower border at Chatsworth
Looking back from the South Lawn to the house.
The same view as above but taken with my Holga Toy Camera, I love the saturated colour from the film and the strange anomolies caused by slight light leakage
Fabulous ceramic garden building in the grounds at Chatsworth
The Grotto pond at Chatsworth taken with the Holga Toy Camera. The light reflection off the water is incredible and more so when it is mixed with some light seepage. I love the unexpected effects gained from the Holga.
The marvellous Cascade at Chatsworth
After leaving a trip across the infamous Snake Pass (closed to traffic at weekends and Bank Holidays because of the high number of fatal accidents) gave us some tremendous views across the National Park, including some beautiful and interesting heather growing on the slopes.
Twisting roads on the Snake Pass
High moorland views in the Peak District
Heather patterns on the moorland